I want to attempt to drive into the hon. gentleman's head the exact meaning of the words :
No oleomargarine, butterine or ether substitute for butter manufactured from any animal substance other than milk-
The hon. gentleman read the words of the law a few minutes ago, but did not seem to attach any significance to certain of those words which I shall repeat: ' or other substitute for butter manufactured from any animal substance other than milk.' This process butter is not made from other animal substance than milk, and therefore does not come under this provision of the Act of 1886, and the people who are making it cannot be prosecuted, and we require a new Act in order to be able to deal with this particular matter.
Because, in the first place, the new Act will cover a great deal more than the old Act ; and, in the second place, I wish to deal with other matters besides this particular section of the old Act. Therefore, I prefer to Introduce a new Bill providing not only a law, but machinery to enforce the law, which the old A'ct did not provide at all. The hon. gentleman alluded to some ancient history, and I would not refer to it except to correct a misstatement. He said that in consequence of certain words of mine, which he quoted, I was left at home in the next election. The hon. gentleman's memory is just as much at fault as that of the hon. member for Leeds. It was in the session of 1886 that I made the remarks cited. In 1887 there was an election, in which the friends of the hon. gentlemen opposite tried to impugn my position on this question.
I am ashamed to have to listen to such nonsense as the hon. gentleman is speaking. By what right does he take up the time of the House in making statements about his own election which are of no public interest ?
In the election of 1887 the chief point made Hon. Mr. FISHER.
against me by friends of hon. gentlemen opposite was what I had said on a particular occasion. But the only effect it had was to increase my majority from 160, in 1882, to over 350. At the next general election this question was not discussed. It never came up in any way whatever, and I was defeated by the casting vote of the returning officer on a totally different question. The question now before the House is the importance of this legislation, and I have given my reasons for deeming it to be necessary. The only reason to the contrary is that advanced by the hon. member for Grey (Mr. Sproule), namely, that the old Act was sufficient. But I have fairly proved that the old Act would not meet this case.
Butter, if rancid, would be equally injurious to health. If, in its normal condition, it is not injurious to health, the hon. minister must be taking a different line from that which he took in 1886, because he then said that no article which was not injurious to health should be prohibited. He said that such an article would not interfere with dairymen, but would stimulate them to make a prime article which would command a sale. My hon. friend says that there is no machinery to Enforce the law in the old Act. Well, we know, as a matter of fact, that those who contemplated building ceased their operations when this law came into force. They were prevented by this law from beginning the manufacture of the very article which it was intended to prohibit. It also stopped the importation, and it would not have had that effect were the Act not supposed to be effective for the punishment of thet wrong-doer, whoever he might be. What machinery does the hon. gentleman propose that may not be invoked to-day for the enforcement of the law, should the law be violated ?
The great desire of the hon. minister (Hon. Mr. Fisher) to do
something for the farmers by protecting the butter industry seems to lead him a little too far in dealing with dairy-made butter. I understand from what he said that any butter, whether dairy-made or creamery-made that contains over 16 per cent of water, cannot be sold without the party making himself liable to a heavy penalty. How can the ordinary farmer's wife know to a certainty exactly what percentage of water is in the butter ? But, if, in packing there should happen to be a fraction over 16 percent of water she brings down upon herself the punishment provided in these resolutions. I am as anxious as the hon. minister to prevent any inferior butter being placed on the market to interfere with our dairy interest, but I think it is going a little^ too far to include dairy butter, a great deal of which is just as good as any creamery butter, within the scope of this measure in this fashion. The farmer's wife has no desire to do anything that is not right, but a mere mistake of a fraction of a percentage would make her liable to the heavy penalties here provided. It seems to me that that is going too far.